Sleeping With the Enemy: Tips to Resolve Conflicts in Your Marriage

Arguments in marriage are natural. All married couples argue once in a while, and at times, it turns out to be a healthy conflict. Healthy conflicts are those that help the couple grow together and as individuals. But how much fighting is too much?

It doesn’t really matter what the argument is all about – whether it’s about the kids, money, or household chores, the main point is that you and your partner are not getting along well. When you find yourself fighting with your partner more often than normal and voices start rising during the argument, it is time to evaluate your marriage. When you are both fighting all the time, you end up alienating each other, and it will eventually destroy the joy, happiness, and love in your marriage. Conflicts in your marriage that are left unresolved will only lead to unspoken pain, tension, and bitterness which will cause a huge problem in your marriage in the long run. For this reason, it is time to take action to prevent such marriage conflicts from getting out of control.

The Most Common Sources Of Conflicts In Marriage

Money: According to studies, about 70% of couples talk about financial matters at least once a week. Most couples fight a lot due to debts, spousal spending, and their own purchases. Couples worry about saving for retirement without risking their investments and loaning money. Additionally, it is also common that one partner is a “spender”, while the other thinks about saving money, which is usually where a lot of conflicts arise. The best way to deal with this problem is for both individuals to find different ways of handling their money to see what works for them. The people involved in the relationship must also practice being a couple together with their money.

Children: This is another reason why couples end up fighting a lot. Some couples have problems on how to discipline their child or how to save for their child’s college education. There are also couples who end up fighting for arguing in front of their children. Other areas that might provoke an argument between couples who have children include money, time for each other, and other responsibilities. When such problems arise, the best thing to do is talk. It can be quite difficult to keep an open line of communication when both partners are busy and exhausted, but it is still the most important ingredient for a healthy marriage.

Housework: This may sound trivial, but household chores are one of the main sources of conflict in married couples, not only because of the actual tasks but also because of certain underlying issues. Love and respect are two factors that lead to a successful marriage, and sometimes household chores become a battleground where both partners fight for their needs. Basically, the household chores become a distraction from the main problem. To avoid such problems, here are some tips:

  • Take the time to sit and talk about household chores.
  • Discuss what you and your partner think of a “clean” house and set a standard
  • Properly delegate household chores
  • Consider the possibility that your household-related conflicts may be due to an underlying issue.

Suggestions For Keeping The Peace In Your Marriage

  1. Take a break from arguing. When you and your partner have been arguing for quite some time, take at least a 30-second break. This will help you and your partner push the reset button on your argument. It is advisable to stop, step out of the room, and reconnect when both of you are in a calm state of mind.
  2. Lower down your defenses. You can try admitting what you did and express sympathy toward your partner. It is usually very effective with couples to simply let go of their defenses during the heat of battle.
  3. Find the humor in every situation. This does not mean you should be disrespectful. What this means is simply keeping the mood light by saying something your partner will find amusing or funny.
  4. Stop arguing and start touching. There are times when discussing certain conflicts doesn’t help. At times like these, couples need only to hold each other when nothing seems to be working. Reconnecting through touching or embracing is very important.

Citations:

The author, Kris Lim, is a marriage counselor who work with couples and provide them with therapy Orange County sessions and tips for happier marriage. She also contributes her thoughts and advice to mental health experts.

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